Gloucester Stage Joins 'Not In Our House' Movement
By a unanimous vote of its Board of Directors, Gloucester Stage has joined the "Not in Our House" community, and adopted its Chicago Theater Standards (CTS). The CTS is a comprehensive document providing theater companies with procedures and protocols designed to prevent and respond to "unsafe events, environments or individuals," with particular attention to the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace.
Procedures for integrating these policies in the rehearsal process, daily operations, and orientation for new staff and apprentices, are already being enacted. With casting for Gloucester Stage's 39th season beginning this week, Bob Walsh, Artistic Director shared, "We are already putting in place safeguards to support the artists."
In a letter addressed to staff and colleagues late last year, Managing Director, Jeff Zinn, wrote, "So much of the work we do in the theater demands that we be open and vulnerable. This happens at all levels of the enterprise: playwrights, designers, directors, producers, all take risks daily. Actors, of course, must make themselves emotionally available in rehearsal and then in front of an audience. That's why it is essential that we provide a safe space for that work to unfold."
Zinn adds, "Theaters across New England are asking ourselves these questions: what policies are already in place? What can we do better? Collectively, there is momentum to adopt a common standard. We look forward to measuring our efforts and sharing our progress with our colleagues and sister companies."
Elizabeth Neumeier, GSC Board President, stated, "We have been individually and collectively appalled by the allegations of past misconduct at Gloucester Stage and throughout the theater industry. We intend for Gloucester Stage, by our actions and example, to help change the culture that, for so long, has allowed such things to take place. Implementing the CTS this season will help ensure that Gloucester Stage is a place where people feel safe, free to do their best work, and to speak out without fear of reprisal."
More about Not In Our House can be found at notinourhouse.org. The Chicago Theater Standards can be downloaded at http://www.notinourhouse.org/download-the-standards/